Though the Patriots-Nick Caserio divorce was always coming, it happened at the worst time.
To be blunt, the New England Patriots are not in a good spot right now. They need a roster overhaul to get back into contention and stave off the likes of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.
However, one could say they’re in a much better position than the Houston Texans, which is where former director of player personnel Nick Caserio bolted to this offseason. He took the general manager job and became one of the highest-paid executives in the sport.
But was that worth it? The Texans are now dealing with arguably the biggest controversy in the NFL right now with Deshaun Watson reportedly requesting a trade, in addition to the fact that former de facto GM Bill O’Brien somehow got away with gutting the team of all its top talent in return for … not much at all.
Much of Caserio’s work at the onset of his tenure will be convincing a player not to leave, which … isn’t exactly among the top enumerated responsibilities for the GM job description. But the ongoing drama has likely taken away from his more urgent tasks, such as preparing for free agency, exploring trades once the new league year begins, and scouting for the NFL Draft.
You could argue trading Watson is actually Caserio’s best bet right now. He’d get a ton of draft picks in return and could start from scratch to further prove his abilities after two decades working with Belichick. But then that will mean rebuilding an entire culture from scratch given the reputation former Texans owner Bob McNair had. Plus, he has to deal with Jack Easterby … again.
It’d probably be a lot better to be in New England at the moment because Caserio is probably missing out on the most aggressive offseason the Patriots have ever seen as a franchise. He could’ve been trading and spending freely without being tasked to rebuild an identity.
The Patriots have a much more sturdy infrastructure that would allow for such a free agency onslaught. Meanwhile, the Texans have to be more calculated. What do they do with Watson if he decides to hold out? What about JJ Watt? You’re also likely losing one of your best offensive weapons in Will Fuller.
Wanna know what else is crazy? Despite having a dearth of talent and public issues with their best player, the Texans will head into the offseason with just $17 million in cap space. The Patriots? Over $60 million.
Caserio could’ve finally had the Wild West offseason he’s likely been dreaming of in New England for over a decade, but instead, he’s now stuck in one of the most highly-scrutinized organizations in all of sports with little money to spend and a generational quarterback who wants nothing to do with them.
They say life is all about timing…